SMR 4 Food and Feed


This SMR is applicable to all farmers both as food and feed business operators producing food or feed from plants and rearing animals for food or producing products of animal origin.

  • Source and use feed from establishments that are registered by A list of registered and approved establishments
  • Put measures in place to ensure cross contamination of feed does not occur. In this regard you should:
    • Store and handle medicated feed and non- medicated feed separately to avoid feeding of medicated feed to non-target animals
    • Store and handle chemicals, waste and hazardous substances separately
    • Ensure that stored seed is not accessible to animals
    • Ensure that feed is not transported, stored, handled or fed in a manner that could lead to contamination of feed from chemical, biological or physical sources
    • Regularly clean stores, storage areas, machinery and containers in order to avoid potentially hazardous contamination of feed
  • Ensure actions are taken to control vermin
  • When using feed additives, veterinary medicinal products or biocides on the farm, follow the dosage application rate, storage and usage guidelines as stated on the label.

Producing Food and/or Feed

You must:

Not place unsafe food and/or feed on the Food is considered to be unsafe if it is deemed to have an adverse effect on human or animal health or makes food produced on the farm unsafe for human consumption e.g. milk/animals presented with antibiotic residues or heavily soiled cattle presented for slaughter

  • On becoming aware of supplying unsafe food to the market, you must:
    • Withdraw, recall and destroy the unsafe food or feedstuff
    • Immediately inform the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) of the supply of unsafe food or feed to the market and actions you have taken to prevent risks to the final consumer

Traceability and Records

You must:

Maintain feed records to include:

    • The type and quantity of products used and/or supplied
    • The name and address of suppliers and/or customers
    • The dates of delivery to the farm and if applicable the leaving dates
  • Keep the following records for at least 5 years:
    • Details of veterinary medicinal products purchased, or other treatments, administered to your animal(s), the dates of the treatment and the withdrawal period (Remedies Record)
    • Plant protection products and biocides used on the farm

Hygiene of Food and Feed

You must:

Take adequate measures to prevent the introduction and spread of contagious diseases transmissible to humans through food e.g. ensure that you have adequate isolation facilities on farm

  • Take appropriate remedial action when informed of problems identified during official controls, comply with sampling

programmes as directed

  • Observe the testing frequency required in the legislation for Tuberculosis or other diseases
  • Ensure that unauthorised / illegal substances are not used
  • Ensure that authorised products are used correctly
  • Ensure safe storage and handling of waste and hazardous substances in order to prevent contamination of food

Dairy Hygiene

The Dairy Parlour You must:

Clean and disinfect, where necessary, the surfaces of equipment that come into contact with raw milk after each This equipment must also be maintained in a sound condition

  • Ensure that milking equipment and the premises where raw milk are stored, handled or cooled are located and constructed to limit the risk of contamination of milk
  • Ensure that premises used for the storage of raw milk:
    • Are protected against vermin, including birds and birds’ nests
    • Are adequately separated from premises where animals are housed
  • Ensure that raw milk is held in a clean place, designed and equipped to avoid contamination, immediately after The milk must be cooled immediately to:
    • not more than 8°C if it is collected daily, or
    • not more than 6°C if it is not collected daily
  • Ensure that cow housing, yards and passageways are constructed and managed in such a way to ensure cows are clean g. ensure automatic scrapers are working

Herd Hygiene

Farmers must

  • Carry out milking hygienically, especially making sure that:
    • Before milking starts, the teats, udder and adjacent parts are clean
    • You satisfactorily identify animals undergoing any medical treatment which is likely to transfer residues to the milk or colostrums
    • Raw milk from any animals that are still within the withdrawal period after receiving medication is not used for human consumption
  • Ensure that raw milk comes from animals that:
    • Are in good general state of health
    • Show no signs of disease that might result in the contamination of milk
    • Do not have any udder wound that is likely to affect the milk
    • Have not been administered with any unauthorised substances or products
  • Ensure that raw milk comes from animals which have disease-free status for Tuberculosis
  • Isolate animals effectively that are infected or suspected of being infected with Tuberculosis, so that there is no adverse effect on other animals’ milk

Egg Hygiene Requirements

The following additional hygiene requirements apply if you are an egg producer.

  • You must keep eggs clean, dry, free from extraneous odour, effectively protected from shocks and out of direct sunshine while on your premises

SMR 4 Inspections

Inspections will involve:

  • Checks to verify that food and feed are produced and stored in a safe manner
  • Checks on the maintenance of traceability systems g. records
  • Checks that the dairy/milking parlour, equipment and cow housing is kept clean and in good repair and that the dairy is isolated from sources of contamination g. that screens and doors between the dairy and milking parlour and dairy and outside environment are in place and properly maintained
  • Checks to verify the adequate control of vermin
  • Checks on hygiene during milking
  • Checks on the observation of withdrawal periods

SMR 5 Restrictions on the use of Substances having Hormonal or Thyrostatic Action and Beta-Agonists in Farm Animals

The aim of these requirements is to prohibit the illegal use of substances that have a hormonal or thyrostatic action and beta-agonists in animals, and to prevent the residues that these substances leave in meat and other foodstuffs from entering the human or animal food chain.

This SMR applies to all farmers keeping animals. Farmers must:

Comply with the U. hormone ban

  • Comply with withdrawal periods for animal remedies authorised under the exceptions to the hormone ban
  • Make available all veterinary medical records relating to restricted substances on request

They must not:

Administer a restricted substance to a farm animal, unless it is administered in line with any permitted exceptions. Restricted substances include thyrostatic substances, stilbenes, stilbene derivatives and their salts and esters, Oestradiol 17β and its ester-like derivatives and substances having an oestrogenic, androgenic or gestagenic action and beta-agonists

  • Place on the market or send to slaughter, animals that have been administered a restricted substance, unless it has been given in line with permitted exceptions
  • Sell meat, or any other animal product, derived from an animal to which a restricted substance has been administered, unless it has been given in line with permitted exceptions

SMR 5 Inspections

Inspections will involve:

  • Taking of samples and the analysis of samples at approved laboratories for the specified animal species and substance groups
  • Farm visits selected under the target criteria for the detection of residues of banned substances

SMR 6 Pig Identification and Registration

The aim of this requirement is to maintain the system for the identification and registration of pigs to facilitate their traceability and to reduce the risk of spreading disease. It is critical that traceability of pigs is maintained at the highest level.

Identification and Registration

You must:

  • Register with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and obtain a pig registration number
  • Have your pig herd registered with the National Pig
  • Use approved eartags bearing the letters IE, the pig herd registration and an individual animal number
  • Use your individual slapmark where a pig is moved from your holding to slaughter. It must be clearly visible on each animal
  • Tag all breeding stock on the holding
  • Tag all pigs moving between pig units even if the units are owned by the same individual

You must not:

Remove or replace eartags without permission from DAFM

  • Alter or deface an eartag
  • Alter, remove, or duplicate any holding code, curermark or individual identification number on a pig

National Pig Identification and Tracing System (NPITS)

Composition of Pig number

  • IE represents the Country
  • ZW598 – your herd number
  • 76549 – Individual animal number

Pig Movements

You must:

Notify the NPTIS Database of all movements

  • Notify all movements out of the herd to South Western Services [SWS] (excluding factory) at least 24 hours prior to the event
  • When moving out of your herd to the factory notify SWS on the day of movement
  • Notify movements into the herd within 24 hours of receipt of the pigs
  • Complete the Dispatch Docket:
    • Pigs direct to slaughter plant/another herd owner – top copy (green) of this form to accompany the consignment
    • Pigs through a mart – two parts of this form top copy (green) and middle copy (pink) to accompany the consignment
    • The bottom copy (yellow) should be retained
  • Details required on the Dispatch docket:
    • Name and address of the owner
    • Pig herd number
    • Number and type of pigs loaded
    • Name and address of veterinary practitioner
    • Destination of pigs


You must:

Maintain your pig register which shall include the following information:

    • The animals present on the holding
    • Up-to-date movement records
    • Identification numbers in each movement
    • Origin or destination and the date of such movement
    • Make available upon request an up-to-date pig register
  • Ensure that an accurate dispatch docket accompanies each consignment of pigs
  • Retain dispatch dockets for 3 years

SMR 7 Cattle Identification and Registration

The aim of this requirement is to maintain the system for the identification and registration (IDR) of cattle to facilitate their traceability. It is critical that traceability of cattle is maintained at the highest accuracy level.

IDR of Bovines consists of four Pillars namely:

  • A properly maintained Herd Register
  • Compliance with Tagging Requirements
  • Up-to-date Animal Identification & Movement (AIM)
  • Passports


You must:

  •  Use only approved eartags on both ears
  • Tag all calves within 20 days of birth and in any event before they leave the holding if earlier than 20 days
  • Register all calf births within 7 days of tagging
  • Ensure that purchased cattle have correct eartags and passports
  • Ensure that cattle moving off the holding are correctly tagged and are accompanied by the proper documentation i.e. Passport and valid Compliance Certificate
  • Replace lost eartag(s) immediately on discovering the loss

You must not:

Remove, replace, alter or deface an eartag

  • Register eartags prior to tagging the animal(s)


You must:

  •  Check all new passports when they are received to confirm that all details are recorded correctly
  • Sign and update all passports g. when purchased or received following registration by the herdowner
  • Ensure animals moving into herds are accompanied by valid passports
  • Ensure that all the correct passports are present on the farm
  • Replace any lost or defaced passports
  • Surrender any surplus passports to DAFM
  • Retain all details of original identity in the case of imported Ensure that all imported cattle are registered on the Animal Identification and Move- ment (AIM) System and that a passport is received for each animal

You must not:

  •  Alter or deface passports
  • Move an animal onto or off the farm without being accompanied by a valid passport

AIM System Database

Notification of births, movements and deaths

You must:


  • Notify all births and movements of bovines to the AIM system database
  • Obtain, in advance, a Compliance Certificate (application for permit to move animals – form NBAS 31B) for all direct purchases and sales/movements to other farmers/dealers/agents. The seller is responsible for obtaining the Compliance Certificate prior to the movement off the holding. Sales of cattle through a mart or factory will be notified to the database by the mart or factory
  • Complete, Sign, Date and Return the notification document which is to be received in SWS within 7 calendar days of the movement taking place. In the case of farm to farm movement it is the Purchaser who is responsible for returning this Both parties are legally obliged to keep the database up-to-date. The herdowner is responsible for notifying the database of on-farm deaths
  • Notify all on-farm deaths and method of disposal of animals in the specified format (NBAS 31D form) within 7 days of the death – usually through the knackery notification Ensure that the documentation is completed, the passport and appropriate fee is given to the collection service

You must not move an animal onto or off the farm without having a valid Compliance Certificate (except for mart/factory movements)

Bovine Herd Register (BHR)

You must

Update the BHR within 7 days of tagging an animal or movements into or out of the herd, to include births, deaths and stolen or lost animals

  • Retain purchase and sales receipts as back-up for the Register
  • If computerised registers are used they must be on the DAFM approved list

SMR Inspections

Inspections will involve checks to ensure that:

  • The animals on the farm are properly recorded on the AIM system database
  • Passports are signed, up-to-date and are checked against the herd profile
  • Movements on to and off the farm are properly notified and recorded on the AIM system
  • The Bovine Herd Register is up-to-date
  • Animals are properly tagged e. two eartags and registered. Animals missing one tag will be recorded along with animals missing both eartags and sanctions may apply
  • A sample of animals will be taken to verify compliance with some of the requirements namely the herd register while the entire herd will be checked for the other requirements
  • The number of calves not registered less than 27 days old are subsequently checked after the inspection to ensure they are fully compliant with the requirements AIM System Database 14%

SMR 8 Sheep and Goat Identification and Registration

The aim of these requirements is to maintain the system for the identification and registration (IDR) of Sheep and Goats in order to facilitate their traceability.

A compliant IDR system for Sheep/Goats comprises of:

  • Tagging
  • Annual Census/Database
  • Flock register
  • Dispatch Dockets


You must:

  •  Use approved eartags and insert in the correct ear
  • Tag all sheep before they leave the holding
  • Electronically tag all homebred sheep at 9 months of age if they are to be kept for breeding purposes
  • Electronically tag all sheep once they reach 12 months of age
  • Ensure that sheep that are required to have two eartags have both eartags at all times
  • For bought in breeding sheep retag with electronic tags correlating old and new numbers in the flock register or order EID tag to match original conventional tag
  • For sheep born before 01/01/2010 continue with the old system of white tags or conventional tags only
  • Replace illegible (e.g. electronic tags that will not transmit its number when scanned), damaged or lost tags immediately
  • Where original identity/holding of origin cannot be discovered insert red tags
  • Record the removal/application of tags in the Ovine Flock Register (OFR)
  • Record replacement tags in Ovine Flock Register

You must not:

  •  Remove or replace eartags without permission from DAFM
  • Alter or deface an eartag
  • Retag lambs for fattening

Annual Sheep Census / Database

You must:

  •  Complete an accurate annual census and forward it to DAFM annually before the submission deadline
  • Record census details in your Ovine Flock Register
  • Notify the local District Veterinary Office (DVO) of temporary movements of sheep between holdings (farm to farm)

Dispatch Documents

You must:

  •  Ensure all details are recorded correctly on the dispatch docket, to include:
    • The date of the movement
    • The number and type of animals moved
    • The individual tag numbers of the sheep
    • The destination/origin of animals
    • The transportation details
    • The required signatures
  • Ensure that when sheep are moved, they are accompanied with a fully completed dispatch docket
  • Retain dispatch dockets/movement dockets in respect of all sheep moved on and off the holding for 3 years

The Dispatch/Movement Document is a three-part document:

  • The White (top) copy must accompany all sheep mov- ing off farm and be retained by the purchaser
  • The Pink (middle) copy should also accompany the sheep if they are being sold in a mart and retained by the mart for their records
  • The Yellow (bottom) copy must be retained by the seller for their own records

You must not:

  •  Move sheep without the correct and fully completed dispatch docket accompanying them
  • Use old or blank dispatch dockets

Ovine Flock Register (OFR)

You must

  • Update the Flock Register immediately on tagging an animal or on movements into or out of the flock
  • Record the annual census in your Flock Register
  • Only use DAFM approved computerised registers
  • Ensure all events are recorded in the Flock Register
    • Tagging
    • Purchases/sales/movement onto/off holding
    • Deaths
    • Replacement eartags

SMR 8 Inspections

The inspecting officer will check that all the requirements referred to above are complied with and will check that:

  • A sample of the animals on the farm match the animals recorded on the flock register
  • A full flock/herd count is conducted and reconciled with the last Sheep Census
  • movements on to and off the farm are properly notified and recorded on the database. This applies in general to private farm-to-farm movements where the purchaser is responsible for notifying the movement within 7 days of the event
  • The Flock Register is up to date
  • All dispatch dockets are present and correctly entered in the flock register
  • Animals are properly tagged and will record the number of animals non compliant with tagging

The aim of this requirement is to minimise the risk posed to human and animal health by certain Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs). These requirements apply to you if you keep farmed animals.

SMR 9 Prevention and Control of Certain Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies

Relevant TSEs

  • Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, BSE (cattle)
  • Scrapie (sheep & goats)

You must not:

  •  Feed any of the restricted substances or include them in mixtures, feedstuffs, feed additives or pre-mixtures
  • Feed ruminants protein derived from mammals
  • Export or store feed intended for farm animals which contains protein derived from mammals, except for feeding dogs
  • Store pet food containing animal protein in close proximity to farm animal feedstuffs where there is a risk of contamination of the animal feed

You must:

  •  Immediately notify the competent authority of any animal suspected of being infected by a TSE
  • Comply with movement restrictions or any other notices served on that animal by the control authority

SMR 9 Inspections

Inspections will involve checking for:

  • Evidence of the use and storage of feed to livestock containing Meat & Bone Meal, Poultry Offal Meal & Fishmeal
  • Any evidence of animals infected with TSE that have not been notified to the Competent Control Authority


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Draft Articles; The articles on this website are in draft form and are subject to further review for typographical errors and, in some cases, updating and correction. It is intended to include references to the sources of materials and acknowledgements in the final version. The content of articles with [EU] in the title and some of the articles in the section on Agriculture are a reproduction of or are based on European or Irish public sector information.

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